Occasionally, people have announced to me that they are “Tantrik healers.” What they generally mean, as far as I can tell, is that they feel they have learned to manipulate other people’s energy, or transfer energy to other people, or mess around with people’s “chakras.”
I put chakras in quotes because hardly anyone, including so-called Tantrik healers, actually knows what a chakra is. Alternatively, some of the people who have given themselves this label are doing sexual massage.
While a healer will use whatever is necessary to do that work, a real Tantrik, or Daoist, or other healer is ultimately working with time.
Here is a story that will help you to understand.
A Tibetan friend of mine had a younger brother with a chronic illness. The child was sent to both allopathic doctors and Tibetan traditional doctors. Nothing worked. Finally, his parents took him to a Rinpoche, an accomplished spiritual practitioner who was known for effecting cures among the chronically ill.
The Rinpoche instructed the parents to “buy the child” from a neighbor. What did this mean? They were to weigh their child and then pay their neighbors a certain amount of money per pound, in effect, buying the child. In doing so, they ritually declared the child to be the natural offspring of the neighbors. Once this was done, the illness disappeared.
The action of the parents, on a certain day, in a certain ritually prescribed way, with the assistance of a person of spiritual accomplishment, undid the birth of the child and gave him a new set of parents with different karma. The illness belonged to the karma of his first birth family. It did not belong to his new family.
Now, this reversal of time was, as you can see, not different from a change in the material world. The boy’s body expressed differently in the world because some aspect of his original birth was undone. Time is not some drifty concept or invisible flow. Time and bodies are one. Time is dependent on bodies, and bodies are dependent on time. Without a material world, there would be no linear time. The ebb and flow of life is the ticking of the cosmic clock.
Interacting with bodies, from the perspective of a Tantrik healer, is working with time. “Bodies” includes an entire situation: people, perhaps herbs or other materials, places, and activities and rituals. The world of a Tantrik healer is not circumscribed to some limited notion of manipulating energy, or of me transferring something to you.
A Tantrik healer is like an orchestra conductor who makes a precise gesture that invokes a complex symphony of response. It is all a matter of time and timing. And as any conductor knows, the person holding the baton is only one small factor in the process of making music.
Reversing time, impeccable timing, and reconfiguring time are the jobs of a Tantrik healer. This is not something you can learn in a course or workshop. You do not get a certificate in Tantrik healing. Becoming a Tantrik healer is a matter of karma, deep apprenticeship to Nature and other teachers, and a long, long history of spiritual practice brought to fruition. A Tantrik healer may be working with a manifestation of illness whose cause lies deep in a person’s ancestry, or with some more contemporary event. But she or he has a definite, usable feel for the inextricable “time” of bodies and life situations.
The Tantrik healer also has a profound familiarity with death and chaos. No real healer claims responsibility for fixing people, or has grandiose illusions about their place in the total healing situation. And every real healer has ways of discerning when to let a patient go, and when to leave a patient to continue in an illness, or even die.
Of course, if you are ill, you should go to a doctor. There is a lot to be said for simply being fixed up. And most people, especially in the West, will never encounter a real healer such as I have described above. Even if we don’t, through the process of spiritual practice, there are opportunities to reverse our bad timing, aka “karma.” As you practice, you will become more sensitive to these opportunities and the grace of a world that offers them to us.